MR. STEPHEN AMIHERE-MENSAH
Regional Chief Manager
MR. STEPHEN AMIHERE-MENSAH
Regional Chief Manager
The Upper West Region is the seventh largest region in Ghana in terms of total geographical area, and it is made up of eleven (11) districts. It is located at the North Western corner of Ghana with latitude 9.8°- 11.0° North and longitude 1.6°- 3.0° West, bounded to Burkina Faso to the North. It covers a geographical area of 18,476 square kilometers which represents 12.7% of the total land area of Ghana.
By virtue of its location, it has the potential for international and inter-regional trade and other bi-lateral relations. The region is bordered on the North and west by the republic of Burkina Faso, on the East by Upper East Region, and on the South by Northern Region.
Climate and Vegetation
The climate of the region is relatively dry, with a single rainy season that begins in May and ends in October. The amount of rainfall recorded annually varies between 750mm and 1050mm. The dry season starts in November and ends in March/April with maximum temperatures occurring towards the end of the dry season (March-April) and minimum temperatures in December and January.
The harmattan winds, which occur during the months of December to early February, have considerable effect on the temperatures in the region, which may vary between 14°C at night and 40°C during the day. Humidity, however, which is very low, mitigates the effect of the daytime heat.
The main vegetation is classified as vast areas of grassland, interspersed with the guinea savannah woodland, characterized by drought-resistant trees such as the acacia, baobab, shea nut, dawadawa, mango and neem trees. The shorter shrubs and grass provide fodder for livestock.
The current estimated population of the region is about 800,000 representing 3.5% of the total population of Ghana. Wa, the Regional Capital, has an estimated population of 108,715.
Cultural and Social Structure
Christianity, Islam and Traditional beliefs are the predominant religions. Traditional life and beliefs, like elsewhere in the country, are more prominent in the rural areas.
The notable festivals are the “Dumba” festival in Wa “Jembenti” of the Dagaabas and “Kobina” in Lawra, and “Kakube” in Nandom. There are three major ethnic groups comprising of Dagaabas, the Sissalas and the Walas. The Lobis and other minority tribes also live in the region.
The Dagaba live in the western part of the region, the Sisaala live in the eastern areas, and the Wala live in Wa and a few of the nearby villages. The Sissala and Dagaba are mostly Christians and animist, while most Wala are Muslim; Wa is the largest predominantly Islamic city in Ghana. Waali, the language of the Wala, and the Dagaare language are mutually intelligible.
Chieftaincy is a respected institution especially among the Walas and is a major medium for community mobilization. In Sissala land, the title Kuoro (e.g. Tumu Kuro) is used whilst Naa (e.g. WaNaa) is used in the other districts. There are 21 paramountcies (Jirapa/Lambussie 2, Lawra 3, Nadowli 7, Sissala 5 and Wa 4
Water demand Situation
The main economic activity of the people of the region is peasant farming. This is supported by the fact that 72.2 per cent of the economically active group are engaged in agriculture or related activities. The hard working farmers of the region cultivate maize, guinea corn, millet, yam, rice, soya beans and cotton in addition to the rearing of cattle in large numbers. The economy of the municipality is dominated by agriculture followed by commerce (about 9%) and industry (about 3%). Other key sectors of the economy are transport, tourism, communication and energy. Notwithstanding the fact that the Municipality is the commercial hub of the region, agriculture is the main economic activity.
The trade/commerce/service sector is second to agriculture in terms of employment. The main activities are retailing, transport, finance, public service. The Wa Municipality is currently the regional commercial/service centre with average trading/office facilities (infrastructure).
Industries in the Municipality are small scale and are categorized into agro processing, wood, textile, metal glass, leather & hide, clay/sand/stone, art & craft. Majority of the enterprises in the Municipality are owned and operated by sole proprietors. There are about 15 financial institutions (Banking and Non-banking) in the Municipality.
Wa hosts the campus where the majority of students of University for Development Studies (UDS) are based. Student population alone is about 12,000. The University has attracted allied businesses such as private hostels, hotels, restaurants and other service providers. The springing up of these businesses is an opportunity for the company in terms of sales of a product that is in high demand compared to the limited production capacity
Region’s Products and Services
The region provides piped water to domestic, commercial and other consumers in the Wa Municipality. Tanker service is also provided but is limited to servicing of some MDAs, schools, and some individuals, etc.
Water Supply System(s)
The Wa Water Supply system is the only one operated by GWCL in the region. Thus,
Ghana Water Company’s current operations in the region are limited to the Wa Municipality only.
The Wa Water Supply system is currently based on the abstraction of groundwater from 24No. boreholes located in four well fields to the North, South and South-west of Wa. The average monthly yield of the boreholes is 55,000m3. (12.2MG) [An average daily production of 1,833m3(0.4MGD)]
Feasibility studies carried out by Hifab International AB in association with Sweco and Colan Consult in 2006 put the average required production for the Wa Municipality and its environs as 12,638m3/day by the year 2020. The current estimated demand for the municipality is 11,500m3/day. (2.6MGD). There is therefore a deficiency in supply and this is to be addressed with a 15,000m3/day (3.3MGD) capacity surface water treatment plant which is currently under construction, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Completion of the project will enable communities in the Municipality, such as Bamahu, University for Development Studies (UDS) Wa Campus, Kong, Guo, Pasi, Dorimon, etc., which hitherto do not have a reliable supply of potable water, to have access to water supply.